As we mentioned previously, we quickly realized that our fig sausages would have to be cured in the refrigerator to avoid fruit flies. They were wrapped in cheesecloth and nestled inside a bamboo steamer basket to give them as much air as possible. You want these to dry out, so don't put them inside anything airtight.
In all, our fig salami took about five weeks to cure and dry out to the point where we were happy with them. We checked in on them periodically, and their cheesecloth wrappers became stained by the figs and red wine, but everytime we opened the basket, we could smell all the great flavors. They eventually shrunk quite a bit, losing at least a third of their original size.
The finished product is quite firm - similar to traditional meat salami - and the taste is wonderfully complex with the flavors of red wine, mulled wine spices, orange, rosemary and black pepper. One thing we might do a little differently next time is to chop the walnuts into smaller pieces for better distribution. We've had a couple slices fall apart on us when there's a large piece of walnut in the middle. But, overall, we're very pleased with the results.
They're great served with a bit of cheese (Brie or Taleggio have been our favorites) and a piece of crusty bread. We're planning to make another batch to be ready for holiday gifts.
One tip if you plan to give them away: Be sure to rewrap them in fresh cheesecloth after they've cured for a nice presentation.
Read more about how we made the fig salami in the original post: DIY Fall Appetizer: Fig Salami
(Image: Joanna Miller)